This first installment of the Dark Artifices Trilogy takes place in the Shadowhunter world of Cassandra Clare’s first two series of the Shadowhunter Chronicles, The Infernal Devices and The Mortal Instruments. This novel follows Emma Carstairs, a seventeen year old shadowhunter, along with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn. The Blackthorns run the Los Angeles Institute. Emma has been searching for the murderers who killed her parents during the Dark War five years before. Now she is closer than ever as dead bodies start showing up with the same markings as her parents. However, dark magic is involved, and no one can be trusted.
This book kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading it, and I was unable to put it down. Cassandra Clare’s writing is clever and fresh, and the way she weaves her stories to connect through the different Shadowhunter generations is brilliant. There are so many plot twists that are unpredictable, and the characters have wonderful depth. Emma’s wit keeps the story fun and the underlying romance to the novel keeps you on your toes.
One of my favorite things about Clare’s novels is that she has created these families and their heritage with so much depth that you often forget that they’re fictional. It is so enjoyable to go on adventures with these characters and their friends because you know them so well.
Reviewed by Catherine, Grade 9, Tuckahoe Area Library